I’ve always enjoyed Recah Trinidad ever since I heard him as a commentator when Onyok Velsaco fought in the Olympics. I was just a kid but those hysterics were forever burned in my memory. “Sumuntok si Onyok! MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS!!!! … teka, teka, DINADAYA tayo mga kababayan, DHINAHDHAYAH TAHYOHHH!!!!” He just unabashedly abandons all pretense of professional detachment and that makes him a true representative of the public – the one who speaks in our hyper-ventilating language, and with our hysterical voices at ringside.
Of course, I’m still conflicted about dear old Recah. I love his total lack of restraint, but I also cringe at his hyperboles.
Well, today, he unleashed a doozy of a lovesong to the boxer du jour. It’s a long article, but I just had to put it up here.
Pacquiao dumps the script for his greatest moment
By Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:04:00 07/01/2008
MANILA, Philippines—He was a work in progress, trainer Freddie Roach kept saying of Manny Pacquiao. There was likewise no clear hint the former poor boy, a skinny southpaw who used to sleep on the cold floor, would be able to come up with the greatest, richest performance of his life.
But last Sunday in Las Vegas, Roach, a two-time trainer of the year, could only watch in quiet glee as Pacquiao transformed from a brawling bull into a full-fledged ring matador with his clinical demolition of defending world lightweight champion David Diaz.
The change was complete as it was classy.
It also erased whatever cheap doubts there were on Pacquiao’s earlier installation as world pound-for-pound boxing king.
Not bad so far. A little too gooey-eyed, but still tolerable. Now if only he would quit while he was ahead.
* * *
Roach may have exaggerated in bragging that Diaz would need something supernatural to conquer Pacquiao.
I think I may need something supernatural to get through this smarmy crap.
But the way Pacquiao did it, not even a miracle would’ve saved Diaz from the speed and sharpness of the former one-handed raw banger they now call a prizefight masterpiece.
Fight promoters hit it right when they labeled the championship “Lethal Combination,” peddling the promise of a bloody, no-holds barred duel in the Nevada desert.
Pacquiao however threw away the script and, in the process, created one of the most awesome mismatches in prizefight lore.
What script? I’m confused.
* * *
Indeed, there were suggestions of two brick-fisted warriors out to outgun and out-slug each other in a terrible test of steel nerves and gangland guts.
You gotta love’em metaphors, but gangland guts? Awesome alliteration.
Pacquiao however left his boiling temper, his predictable impatience in the dugout.
Of course, there were instances when he would smirk and again bang his gloves—a trademark of his explosiveness—after getting hit.
But these could all be a put-on, a ploy to mask a surefire edge he had gained with his newfound overview fighting stance.
Instead of bend low, engage his foe in an eyeball-to-eyeball goring battle, Pacquiao coolly stood his ground, speared and danced his way out of harm’s way enroute to a slow but sure dominance, before unleashing a crisp, soundless left cross to the chin, a sword thrust through a bull’s heart vein.
Heart vein? Is that the same as the lung windpipe? Or the kidney ureter? Or the womb fallopian tube? And didn’t you love how he “danced his way out of harm’s way?” Sounds like a male flamenco dancer ducking the flying stilletos of his partner. But beyond that, if it were such a storied mismatch, how could Pacquiao have ever been in harm’s way?
* * *
To those who wondered where they had witnessed this scene before, it could be in the movies, out in the sun-baked bullfight arenas in Madrid or Hemingway’s Pamplona where, as the great American writer put it, “the bull, as it should be is dead; the man, as he should be, is alive with a tendency to smile.”
Fight fans can be such gore-loving fuckers, can’t they?
The truth is that, after completing a perfect execution, an unforgettable world boxing rarity, fear suddenly crossed Pacquiao’s mind as Diaz lay battered, bloodied, convulsing on the floor.
Oh dear god, no.
Here, Pacquiao decided to again dump the fight script.
Again with the script! Are we in Hollywood? Or Gangland? Or the bull rings of Spain? Make up your mind, Recah.
* * *
Instead of thumping his breast, instead of bursting into a triumphant yell, Pacquiao readily turned to his fallen foe. Pacquiao reached out for Diaz’s arms and tried to pull him back.
The celebration could wait.
He suddenly saw in the opponent a brother in utter distress and, like a passing Samaritan, Pacquiao offered to help Diaz off a deathly cliff.
That he did it before claiming triumph as cameras rolled and the whole world watched was indeed incredible.
Maybe this same thing had happened to other ring greats, Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, or Oscar de la Hoya himself, but they had left the golden chance at heroism and nobility slip.
Anyway, Pacquiao may have not realized it but, after making his countryman very proud with his conquest of a fourth world crown, he next handed the Pinoy a rare gift. The native nobility Pacquiao displayed in that moment of moments helped immeasurably in telling the world that the Filipino, cheated, cursed, corrupted, is brave, strong, and, last but not the least, worthy of applause and respect.
*Sniff-sniff.* Okay. I admit it. This part really rang true. I was never prouder of Pacquiao than I was at that moment when true concern came over his features and he grasped Diaz’s outstretched arm. That was a golden moment for sportsmanship. Quite a refreshing change from all the trash-talking one has come to expect – and dread – from professional sports.
Thank God for the greatest Filipino fighter ever.
Too cheesy, but can’t argue with that.